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Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Riviera comes to Paris
Palms planted by River Seine in Paris
Parisians usually head south to relax on a beach

Paris - famous for its monuments and museums, boulevards and boutiques - now has a new attraction.

A 3km stretch of the right bank of the river Seine has been turned into a beach, at a cost of 1.5 million euros ($1.51m).

The river bank will be dotted with palm trees and blue sun lounges for the next month, and will play host to beach sports and concerts.

The sand does not actually stretch to the water's edge. But that is probably just as well, since swimming in the Seine is forbidden.

This is a beach for rollerbladers, cyclists and strollers.

City officials say the idea is to give the right bank of the river back to Parisians, although it is debatable how many of them will actually get to appreciate it.

More than 50% of locals spend their summer months far away from the French capital, on beaches elsewhere.

See also:

27 Feb 02 | Europe
08 Jan 02 | Europe
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